A lot of internet ink is being and will continue to be spilled about the Santa Barbara shooter’s highly gendered anger, which was apparently integral to the rage that caused him to go on a shooting spree. I don’t have a lot to add to the many eloquent things that have already been said, but here are a few of the highlights.
Conor Friedersdorf collects some of the best tweets of the #YesAllWomen surge, which seeks to elucidate the many ways in which women—effectively all women in our society—are routinely made to feel unsafe. Small sample:
- Every single woman you know has been harassed. And just as importantly, every single woman you don’t know has been harassed. #YesAllWomen
- #YesAllWomen learn to say “Sorry, I have a boyfriend” because we are only safe if we are another man’s property.
- Because society is more comfortable with people telling jokes about rape than it is with people revealing they’ve been raped. #YesAllWomen
- I am a rape and sexual assault survivor and my experience is not particularly unusual or rare. #YesAllWomen
- Because I now wear shorts under dresses in crowded bars after being groped and even penetrated by unseen hands. #YesAllWomen
- DOESN’T MATTER IF YOU HAVENT SEEN IT. DOESNT MATTER IF YOUVE NEVER DONE THAT. IT HAPPENS.
Even if you’re generally suspicious of Twitter hashtags, given the limits and shortcomings of the medium, don’t reflexively dismiss #YesAllWomen, the label appended to all Tweets included in this conversation. The Tweets illuminate some experiences common to virtually all women and others that capture how many women feel . . . .
Like all widely embraced hashtags, #YesAllWomen encompasses content so diverse that everyone is bound to disagree with some of it. I submit that the vast majority of men who explore it with an open mind will come away having gained insights and empathy without much time wasted on declarations that are thoughtless.
Amanda Hess takes a look at the “pickup artist community”‘s reaction to the shooting:
Members of Pick-Up Artist RooshV’s forums piled on. “Game saves lives,” one member said. “I’m trying to think of ways our enemies will come after us because of this, but if anything, we’re the solution to this sort of murder rampage,” Roosh himself weighed in. “He is self-delusional and massively entitled, but exposing him to game may have saved lives.”
Yes, the problem was definitely that he didn’t have “game.”
Finally, Yo, Is This Racist?‘s Andrew Ti took aim squarely at the despicable practice of appropriating the language of oppression in order to solidify one’s grip on privilege:
First of all, fuck you. It’s always been like, you know, an irritating thing that you’d attempted to co-opt the language of feminism and other civil rights struggles to cloak your sexist ideas in bullshit like “Men’s Rights” and calling this sexist garbage “activism.” And for a long time, I think a lot of people like me were down with ignoring this shit because it was juvenile and stupid, but also because it seemed like this tactic was clearly the same as racists whining about why there isn’t White History Month, or homophobes trying to have a Straight Pride Parade, something that anyone with half a brain could see is transparently a way to prop up the bigotry of people who already control the balance of power in this world.
But this Elliot Rodger mess brings up a way that this type of shit can affect people. Because, when you co-opt the rhetoric of revolution and struggle, it’s more than just “trolling” or some bullshit to make, you know, actual decent people angry. It’s language that can make a disturbed person think that defending bigotry is a legitimate struggle, that, in Rodger’s case, that owning and subjugating women is a cause worth killing and dying for. Because that’s what those words mean, you fucking garbage assholes, those words are for people who struggle from real oppression, to inspire people to sacrifice and never give up. The fact that straight white men have taken these words to rally around calcifying the bigotry that’s slipping from their fingers is truly disgusting, and now it’s more clear that it has fucking consequences.
Fuck you, you pieces of shit, fuck you.